Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Little Loves

These two teach, grow, and shape our hearts in the most amazing way.  I'm so thankful for them, for their daddy, and for the family moments we have together.  Today I'm loving the fact that they are each other's valentine's.  

When I told them we were going to make Valentine's for people we loved Henry decided all of his were going to be for Mallie Lynn.  My mama heart swooned and I inhaled the sweet sibling moment that I know will become constantly brought back out of the files when they are teenagers.  
Their love for each other is sweet, it's real, it involves screaming at each other in anger and crying because they didn't get to hug the other goodnight long enough.
Then there's the new furry love.  She's growing our hearts and patience and I can't wait to see the relationship these three will have through the years. 
Ya know we don't always like each other...but we always love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lessons from an angel.

There's a bit more of a purpose behind our new furry friend.  A reason I wanted an extra few pounds of joy in our home.  She's added chaos, and frustration and messes too but a lovable one that we are shaping into a new member of our family.

In May B and I had a conversation that would send us on a ride, we had always talked of adopting, and I felt the desire towards making it a reality becoming stronger.  Knowing there are lots of options and that the process can be slow we decided to begin praying about where God was leading us to grow our family.  I had loved every bit of my pregnancies and giving birth to our two wonderful children is something I count as one of my biggest privileges in this life.  I just felt ready to have my body to myself, I also didn't see me wanting to go through the newborn phase again and so we planned to adopt an older child.
As life would have it, God decided to let us know this wasn't his plan for us right now.  We found out that we were due with a baby of our own who would be born February 9th, 2017.
Being a surprise, it took a few days for it to settle in but the news quickly brought our hearts joy.  It's funny how quickly you begin to picture your life differently.  My thoughts jumped to the future and watching Mallie Lynn and Henry in their new roles, I knew it would bring out a side of them I hadn't known before and I couldn't wait to see it.  
For three weeks we dreamed, planned, and held in our excitement.  We told our parents the news and watched their surprised faces quickly turn to those of joy and anticipation too.  
But if you know me you know me at all you know you never watched my stomach grow or asked me how we were doing?  You haven't seen me post pictures of our nursery or heard me complain about how uncomfortable I've been lately.  At 8 weeks we were hit with that heart wrenching news that our baby wasn't alive and I would have to have a DNC.

The Lord protected me in the midst of it all with a peace that almost made me numb, and I trusted.  I sinfully compared my loss to others I had seen walk down this road and allowed thoughts "this isn't so bad compared to....." so I shoved emotions deep, but I trusted.
As we walked down the road of healing I confidently put my hand in Jesus' and I'm so unbelievably thankful that I did.  Because what I discovered about miscarriage is that it's awkward, it's messy, it's uncomfortable, and it's raw.  It's something I felt I needed to be quiet about like I was somehow ashamed.  I realized I never understood what my friends or sister had gone through before me and though I tried to comfort and share love there was really never a thing I could do to help them heal.  It's a rollercoaster of emotions that can take you plunging 5,000ft into sadness at the sight of something unexpected.  So I cried in the shower when kids wouldn't question and I held onto Jesus.  I smiled at the mom who's growing baby belly made me a bit sad, and I held onto Jesus.  I became more thankful for the two blessings I've been given who call me mama, make me crazy, and push me to love bigger, and I held onto Jesus.  

And I found something.  I found that trusting that his plan is bigger and better than ours can hurt, but it's true.  From the moment we discovered there would be no February birthday, I knew his plan was greater even though I really didn't like it.  I found a relationship with my heavenly Father that became so real I didn't need anything else.  I let him know I was so confused by Him, by what he let happen and I just couldn't understand.  I mean we were going to adopt a child, isn't that an amazing thing to do?  Wouldn't that bring our family joy and help change the life of one of your children?  Why would you throw me off that path the moment I felt certain?  
You don't have to understand "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9)

I found self control; as the babies around me were born, or others popped up expecting I smiled on the outside and asked all the right questions but inside I grew jealous.  The Holy Spirit convicted me pretty quick, and let me know that my initial human self reaction was wrong but that he could help, and I changed.  So a jealous thought never turned into feelings of bitterness instead I began to think about how happy I was for them and could say a prayer that they understood what a blessing they were experiencing.  
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  (Titus 1:8)

B and I prayed for discernment on what our next step was after our loss, what did it mean for our family.  My personal desires were feeling pulled and tugged in the weirdest way possible.  As time moved on and prayers persisted the dreams I had of adopting faded to a dim light and I felt a tug at my heart that we should get pregnant again.  In my head it sounded nuts, our life feels crazy as it is raising just two little on earth could we handle a baby, too?  On paper and the decibel level of my household it really doesn't make sense, but my heart keeps hearing God say, "you're not done."  So this road continues to go on a confusing trip as we have tried for 7 months without a pregnancy.  So  I   q u e s t i o n   and He tugs at my heart and I find God in the confusion and waiting.  
I found peace and I held it tight.  I even found a way to wear it proudly.  My sweet and talented friend  makes bangles I adore; Mallie Lynn and I both wear them everyday.  So when I shared with her I wanted a baby bump to wear she designed a bangle that I wear now with love, memory, and peace.  I look at it often and I smile. 
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

The little love I never held sure taught me a lot for never stepping foot on this earth.  God used an unborn baby, a life only ever lived inside of me to teach and stretch and grow his daughter.  I am more compassionate towards others who have experienced loss, who are walking the disheartening path of infertility.  He gave me strength to trust in His plan; a plan that looked like a dry desert in the beginning and has found it's way flooded with living water and new dreams.  I feel a peace in Him knowing I don't have to figure things out because "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)  

So whether our family remains a family of 4 or becomes something more I am thankful for the stretching.  The stretching I thought would grow in my physical body actually occurred in my heart, thank you angel baby of mine for teaching with your life.